Advising at Southern Miss
All students are assigned an academic advisor when they declare a major. If you change your major, you will be assigned a new advisor in your new department, and if you double major, you will have two advisors.
Getting the Most out of Your Advisement Appointment
• Schedule an appointment during your department's advising period.
Advisors block off a lot of time during the scheduled advisement period to talk to students. While you can meet with your advisor any time to talk about career choices or difficulties you're having in your classes, make your main advisement appointment during the advisement period to ensure that you get into all the classes you want. Advisement for Fall happens in March, and Spring advisement is in October, but different departments may advise at different times, so check with the department office for exact dates. Once you have scheduled an appointment, show up on time! If for some reason you cannot make it to your scheduled appointment, email your advisor as soon as possible to let him/her know, and ask if you can reschedule at a time that is convenient for him/her.
• Respond to your advisor's emails.
If your advisor emails you before advisement to let you know when s/he will be available to meet (or emails you any time to let you know about important deadlines coming up) make sure you respond in a timely manner.
• Build a relationship with your advisor.
The better your advisor knows you, the more s/he will be able to help you. Make sure you let your advisor know which classes you like and which classes you're struggling with, and if you're in danger of failing a class, talk to your advisor about resources on campus that offer academic tutoring. Make sure your advisor knows what career path you're interested in, or ask for suggestions if you're not sure yet. Advisors have a wealth of information about employment opportunities for people in your field; take advantage of it.
• Prepare for appointments ahead of time.
Advisors will check your schedule and make sure you are on track to graduate, and will sometimes suggest alternative courses that might be more tailored to your future career, but you should already have a tentative schedule (either enroll in the classes outright or put them in your SOAR shopping cart) before your appointment. If you're unsure what to register for, check out your degree progress report in SOAR by navigating to your Student Center under Self Service and choosing Advisement/Degree Progress Report from the drop down box under Academics. This will show you all the classes you still need to take in order to graduate. You can also download a PDF of your degree plan, which will allow you to see all the requirements at a glance, and you can view the complete Southern Miss schedule to choose electives that interest you.